Brussels, 11-4-2013 — /europawire.eu/ — The European Commission welcomes endorsement by the EU Council’s ‘Coreper’ committee (EU Committee of Member States’ Permanent Representatives) of the Commission’s effort to open-up public sector data for re-use across Europe (see IP/11/1524).
Once fully implemented into national law, the revision of the 2003 Public Sector Information Directive would make all generally accessible (that is, non-personal) public sector information available for re-use. Developers, programmers, businesses and citizens will be able to get and re-use public sector data at zero or very low cost in most cases. They will also have access to more exciting and inspirational content, for example including materials in national museums, libraries and archives.
European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes said: “Opening up public data means opening up business opportunities, creating jobs and building communities. I welcome the Council’s agreement to this culture change.”
The proposed new rules now need to be formally approved by the European Parliament.
Public Sector Information refers to non-personal data produced, stored or collected by public sector bodies. Studies show that wider availability of public data could boost economic activity by tens of billions of euros per year across the EU.
When fully implemented, proposed new rules would:
- Create a genuine right to re-use public information, not present in the original 2003 Directive;
- Expand the reach of the Directive to include libraries, museums and archives;
- Establish that public sector bodies can charge at maximum the marginal cost for reproduction, provision and dissemination of the information. In exceptional cases, full cost recovery (plus a reasonable return on investment) will remain possible;
- Oblige public sector bodies to be more transparent about charging rules;
- Encourage the availability of data in open machine-readable formats
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